ritual year

Lammas-tide and Harvest Home

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 in 17th century, harvest, lammas, ritual year, robert herrick | Comments Off

Lammas-tide and Harvest Home

August 1 marks the beginning of the grain harvest in Britain, a period of intense labour and also celebration. In our age of convenience foods perhaps it’s hard to imagine how important the harvest was in centuries past. The harvest could be poor, or fail entirely. If a community suffered two bad harvests in a row, entire families would starve. The word “Lammas” derives from the Anglo-Saxon “hlaef-mass” or loaf mass. The first grain of the year would be reaped and then baked into a bread, which was consecrated in the church upon the first Sunday of August. A...

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